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Sydney among world’s worst airports for sleeping

Poll reveals the worst (and best) hubs for catching some Zs

Most of us have been there: our connecting flight’s not due to depart for eight hours, or has been delayed for six, and there’s nothing we want more than a few hours of shuteye. So where wouldn’t you want to be when seeking some Zs?



According to a survey by, Reykjavik-Keflavik International Airport (Iceland) is the worst airport for sleeping.


The poll revealed initial complaints related to the comfort of the airport’s prospective sleeping sites, before moving on to rude security guards.


“No sooner had a got into a relatively comfortable sleep when I was kicked (yes actually kicked) by a security guard on a power trip telling myself and fellow travellers to get up and stop sleeping,” a traveller said in the survey. To the hub's credit, there are bean bag-ish type chairs near the gates.


Paris Beauvais-Tille International Airport (France) came in second on the list, with terminals that “are short on chairs, and those that do exist are only a small step up from the cold and dirty concrete floor”, followed by Bergamo Orio al Serio International Airport (Italy) and London Luton Airport (UK). Meanwhile, Sydney Airport finished ninth on the list.


“Forced to sleep after hours near the entrance to the train station and locked in like prisoners until the next morning. Constant boarding pass/passport checking in 'sleeping' area,” a traveller wrote in the poll.


In Sydney, passengers holding international tickets are forced to sleep in a small area of the international terminal near the train station.


“Said to be cold, bright and particularly uncomfortable with about a dozen seats with armrests, this is hardly an option to be sought out,” the website said.


“In the Domestic Terminal, there is nowhere to sleep and no connecting airport hotel - a strange feature given SYD's position as a major travel hub.”



Other airports to make the bottom ten list were Christchurch International Airport (NZ), NYC LaGuardia Airport (USA), Brussels Charleroi Airport (Belgium), Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino International Airport (Italy) and Los Angeles International Airport (USA).


At the other end of the scale, Singapore Changi International Airport was voted the best airport in which to sleep, with some of SIN's most sleep-friendly features including free lounge chairs, low-lit relaxation zones, armrest-free seating at the gates, free massage chairs and easy chairs with handy mobile charging outlets.


Following closely behind Changi was Seoul Incheon International Airport (South Korea), and then Helsinki Airport (Finland), Munich International Airport (Germany), and Vienna International Airport (Austria).


According to the survey, the top hubs excelled at offering features such as designated rest zones, comfortable couches, courtesy blankets, quiet corners in post-security sections and sympathetic staff.


Top 25 Best Airports for Sleeping


Singapore Changi International Airport, Singapore (SIN)

Seoul Incheon International Airport, South Korea (ICN)

Helsinki International Airport, Finland (HEL)

Munich International Airport, Germany (MUC)

Vienna International Airport, Austria (VIE)

Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, Portugal (OPO)

Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Japan (HND)

Tallinn International Airport, Estonia (TLL)

Stockholm Arlanda International Airport, Sweden (ARN)

Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, Taiwan (TPE)

Vancouver International Airport, Canada (YVR)

Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong (HKG)

Tampa International Airport, USA (TPA)

Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia (KUL)

Oslo Gardermoen Airport, Norway (OSL)

Zurich Kloten International Airport, Switzerland (ZRH)

Portland International Airport, USA (PDX)

Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates (DXB)

Osaka Kansai International Airport, Japan (KIX)

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Netherlands (AMS)

New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, India (DEL)

Frankfurt International Airport, Germany (FRA)

Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, Greece (ATH)

Dublin International Airport, Ireland (DUB)

Doha Hamad International Airport, Qatar (DOH)


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 21 October 2015

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